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Old 06-29-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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Hello. First off I am not an electrician but have install telephone,data and television cable for various companies in the past. This being said I decided to run all the electrical wiring in my new home that we are about to finish. My question is can I install several plug ins and light switches on one GFCI breaker? I went the GFCI plug route first but that kept tripping the plug due to sharing a neutral I think. I have ran 12/3 w ground for 2 circuits to several areas in the house and want to GFCI protect them if possible. Can this be done with the red and black hot wires sharing the same white neutral back to the panel? Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-29-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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Also I used 12/2 G to go from my home run power source which in most cases comes in at the light fixture in each room, to the light switch. In most cases I used black to take power to the switch and came back on the white neutral wire the the fixture. Some areas I was able to use a black to and from the switch and just tied the neutrals together and they ran back to the panel. Another question that I have would be if I keep all my white neutrals basically away from a switching circuit in a series with wall plugs wouldn't a GFCI plug work. I mean as long as I don't have any neutrals in a switch box tied together going back to the neutral buss bar in the panel in a given circuit?

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Old 06-29-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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Stop what you are doing, and call in a real electrician. If you are saying that you used switch loops in your circuits for lighting, you have to color the white neutral as black or red, but they cannot stay white.

Really suggest you contact an electrician to come in and go over the complete system. Reading through what you posted, it points out why your gfci breaker keeps tripping.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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ITXY.... DITTO ^^^^ above,

You are working on a relatively dangerous system,... electrical can kill and can burn down homes... and does at times.

This is a DIY help forum, but yiour questions show maybe that it is best you get some professional help and a little more background in electrical.

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Old 06-29-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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I don't know about switch loops but I used a 12/2 G romex to take power down from the original power point in a room (overhead light location) to the light switch and just brought the white back hot to the light to operate it or a ceiling fan.I was told by a electrician that this is common practice in residential wiring. As far as tying my whites together in a switch box this was only done where the whites were left over and I wanted them to go back to the panel where I brought power from the panel to the switch instead of the overhead light location in a given room. My original question was will a GFCI breaker installed in my breaker panel for a given circuit work if the given circuit is feeding a room (for example) that has plugs and a light switch on it, hence they will all be sharing a common neutral and ground back to the panel. I know the GFCI plugs won't function this way but I thought a breaker which originates at the panel might. I know these corcuits will work without using any type of GFCI because its working now without a problem. Sorry if my questions are confusing.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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The reason your GFCI breakers do not work, is because your wiring is Fubar. Stop right now, do not touch anything else and call an electrician. I also hope that if your area requires permits, that you pulled them for the electrical work.

If your area does not require permits for homeowners to do their own electrical work, jobs like yours keeps people like us in business, both as professional Sparky's, and those who do it on the side like myself, to make extra money fixing other people's self-created problems.

I have no problem trying to explain where you went wrong, but the whole story is a mess, it is hard to try and tell where it begins and ends. Sort of like your wiring job.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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Nice Gregzoll, belittle the guy asking for an answer for a simple question about if a GFCI breaker will operate in a basic room circuit which is basically what I asked. I admit I gave too much info and I'm sorry for my confusion but no need to belittle all my hardwork up to this point. Also I have no building codes where I'm building and we shelled out over $200k right out of my pocket with no back involvement as to date so I'm not a simple minded rookie here. I am the GC on this project and have did fine thus far. Heck the world existed for years with GFCI circuits I just figured I might install some. As for calling in a electrician I have consulted one on every move I've made this far but he's not totally familiar with the new Arc fault or GFCI breakers they have out now. Hope you feel good about your rude comment. No thanks I will gather my info somewhere else cause you obviously aren't in an understanding or helping mood.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:58 PM   #8
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No one is belittling anyone. Just pointing out the obvious that you do not know what you are doing, by the fact the terms you are using, and along with the fact that you have one huge run-on paragraph.

If you want help in fixing this, change your approach. If you want to learn how to do this stuff, there are plenty of resources, one of them being the NEC if in North America. If you want something that gives you pictures of different wiring diagrams that you can hold in your hand, Black & Decker publishes a really good guide for homeowners and updates it every NEC code cycle.

You can also use any search engine, click on the "image" tab or choice, and search for various types of wiring (ie 3-way switch, Switch loop, MWBC gfci circuit, etc.).

Unless you can first correct breaking things up into paragraphs to make things easier to understand, explain what you are trying to get to in better to understand descriptions, the bus is stopping here, and you need to get off at this stop.

If you have already shelled out $200,000.00 out of your pocket, it is obvious none of that was used to hire an electrician, along with the fact that you stated that there are no codes, update your location, so everyone knows never to purchase a structure in that same place that you are doing this unlicensed work. That is not only dangerous to anyone inhabiting the structure, but anyone that may be working on it at any time.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
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Last edited by sirsparksalot; 06-30-2013 at 11:51 PM. Reason: improper advice
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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You don't need to put the lighting circuit on a GFCI. Receptacles, yes, depending on where those receptacles are located.

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Old 06-30-2013, 12:05 AM   #11
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After rethinking what I have previously done on this project I believe that if I were to just use a GFCI plug for the first plug in the series,and if the hot wire needs to feed a light switch somewhere in that series, that if I pigtail the hot wire of to the switch and just continue on with the original " trunk" hot wire to the remaining plugs, leaving the neutral intact from plug to plug and not running up to the light fixture that the switch is operating, that this might work with a GFCI plug. Is this clear as mud? Can a GFCI breaker work in the same way? Thanks for trying to help me by the way. I not trying to cause any problem or start this thread into an arguement so Gregzoll please let these other guys try and help me. I can and will run this all by a qualified licensed electrician before implementing. I'm just on here trying to figure out my options beforehand. Also I apologize for my run on sentences and paragraphs as well. I typing this on my I phone from here at work.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:08 AM   #12
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Last edited by ltxc9y; 06-30-2013 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Found the answer
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:22 AM   #13
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Mixed Wire Branch Circuit. I read some other columns and I am gaining more knowledge as we speak. As I'm understanding it there is a way to run 2 GFCI circuits on a 12/3 G. Is this correct?As I understand it the 2 hot wires in a 12/3 ( red and black) can be wired to work as 2 separate GFCI circuits sharing the one neutral (white) and ground (copper)? Can this be done on a single pole 20amp breaker at the panel or will this require a double pole 20 amp breaker? I would prefer to use a single pole if possible due to lack of space. Would a GFCI breaker be easier to install instead of all this trouble with the GFCI plug wiring or are they both gonna be a pain in the rear? One wiring issue in my home is where I have a 12/3 G going straight to 2 plugs under my whirlpool tub. I was wanting to make these both seperate 20 amp GFCI protected circuits with one of these circuits continuing on to a plug on the vanity, then to a vanity light switch, then on to one more plug up high on my bathroom wall where I am going to mount a small television. If all else fails can I abandon one of the hot wires and just go with one GFCI protected circuit for this entire setup?
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:02 AM   #14
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1) Why are you installing GFI breakers?
They would only be required for receptacles in certain situations...not for lighting or bedrooms.

2) AFCI breakers are code for anything not required to be GFI protected (with a few minor exceptions)

3) If the EC you are consulting does not know how to make a GFI or AFCI breaker work correctly, you need to find a new consultant.

4) Being a CATV installer in no way, shape, or form makes you qualified to wire a home's electrical system. If anything, it is probably worse than someone knowing nothing at all.

5) Every question you ask makes it more apparent that you either need to stop your electrical work now, rip it out, do some proper research on basic home wiring, then start to rewire the home. I say rip everything out because it will only confuse you when you are trying to rewire things correctly.

Or you need to hire a legit electrician.

6) Who the h&ll is going to insure this house when there are no permits and no oversight in the building process?
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:04 AM   #15
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GFI receptacles are cheaper and easier to reset instead of running to the panel.

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